Go, Went, Gone (Paperback)

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By Jenny Erpenbeck, Susan Bernofsky (Translator)
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Staff Reviews

A poignant, gripping novel about the refugee crisis challenging the globe. Recently retired and suddenly finding himself adrift, Richard becomes captivated by a group of young African refugees being housed by the German government in his quiet Berlin suburb---Who are these men? What do they want? The answers seem simple, yet issues of power, humanitarian responsibility, bureaucracy, and intolerance make their lives and reality complex. Erpenbeck is a skilled novelist, and her talent as a storyteller serves as a humanizing lens on a daunting political crisis. Go, Went, Gone is imperative for us to read, discuss, and share.

— Erin


Go, Went, Gone is the masterful new novel by the acclaimed German writer Jenny Erpenbeck, "one of the most significant German-language novelists of her generation" (The Millions). The novel tells the tale of Richard, a retired classics professor who lives in Berlin. His wife has died, and he lives a routine existence until one day he spies some African refugees staging a hunger strike in Alexanderplatz. Curiosity turns to compassion and an inner transformation, as he visits their shelter, interviews them, and becomes embroiled in their harrowing fates. Go, Went, Gone is a scathing indictment of Western policy toward the European refugee crisis, but also a touching portrait of a man who finds he has more in common with the Africans than he realizes. Exquisitely translated by Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone addresses one of the most pivotal issues of our time, facing it head-on in a voice that is both nostalgic and frightening.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780811225946
ISBN-10: 0811225941
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication Date: September 26th, 2017
Pages: 320
Language: English